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2003 Wrapups: Chicago Cubs

With the 2003 minor league season coming to a close, we will be providing a brief wrapup of the season for all 30 minor league teams. In each report, we will take a look at how the team's Top 10 Prospects performed, identify some emerging prospects and organizational leaders, and report on the performance of their top draft pick.
Complete index of Team Wrapups               2003 League Wrapups

By Kevin Goldstein
September 23, 2003

Season Results

Level Team League W L PCT
AAA Iowa Pacific Coast 70 72 .493
AA West Tenn Southern 65 73 .471
A+ Daytona Beach Florida State 66 71 .482
A Lansing* Midwest 69 66 .511
SS Boise Northwest 27 49 .355
R AZL Cubs Arizona 27 29 .482
TOTAL 324 360 ..474
   * won league championship


Performance of Top 10 Prospects

Here's how our top 10 prospects entering this season performed in 2003. Major league statistics through games of September 22.

1. Hee Seop Choi, 1b      Age: 24
Was the primary first baseman for the Cubs at the beginning of the season, but gradually lost playing time to veteran Eric Karros as his batting average plummeted. Missed three weeks with a concussion, and found himself back in Triple-A after falling into a 6-for-47 slump. With the acquisition of Randall Simon, Choi is is now serving a limited bench role during the Cubs' playoff run, clearly still in Dusty's doghouse.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Cubs (MLB) 79 201 33 44 17 0 8 28 37 71 1 .219 .351 .423
Iowa (Triple-A) 18 66 12 17 4 1 6 16 9 19 0 .258 .351 .621

2. Angel Guzman, rhp      Age: 21
Opened some eyes with a strong spring training performance, and delivered quality starts in 12 of 15 appearances before requiring arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder. No major damage was found, and he is expected to be healthy for spring training.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
West Tenn (Double-A) 3-3 0 2.81 15 89.2 83 30 28 26 87

3. Andy Sisco, lhp      Age: 20
Missed nearly two months with a broken hand (punch with non-pitching hand Andy), but pitched well in his return, limiting opposing batters to a .220 average while striking out over a batter per inning. Delivered two strong outings during Lansing's perfect postseason run.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Lansing (Low Class A) 6-8 0 3.54 19 94.0 76 44 37 31 99

4. Felix Pie, of      Age: 18
A successful campaign for Pie, who spent the entire season in a full-season league and doesn't turn 19 until next February. The youngest player on the Futures Game roster, Pie showed remarkable athleticism, but still needs to hone some of the finer aspects of the game, including plate discipline and base stealing (just 19 for 32).
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Lansing (Low Class A) 124 505 72 144 22 9 4 47 41 98 19 .285 .346 .388

5. Nic Jackson, of      Age: 24
A disappointing season for Jackson, who needed to rebound after missing most of last season with a fractured shin. Numbers were down across the board from his breakout 2001 season in the Florida State League.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Iowa (Triple-A) 125 458 56 116 19 4 11 44 35 102 17 .253 .315 .384

6. Francis Beltran, rhp      Age: 23
Hard throwing reliever pitched well during the first two months of the season (1.88 ERA), but struggled with biceps tendinitis in the second half, and was shut down at the end of July.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Iowa (Triple-A) 6-2 4 2.96 31 48.2 46 17 16 19 33

7. Luke Hagerty, lhp      Age: 22
Hagerty, who had a 1.13 ERA in his pro debut at Boise in 2002, felt a pop in his elbow while warming up for his final spring training game and required Tommy John surgery, which cost him the entire season.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Did Not Pitch

8. Brendan Harris, 3b/2b      Age: 23
Big things were expected from Harris, who hit .328-15-65 across two levels in 2002. Didn't go deep until early June and hit just .250 in his final 40 games. Needs to hit over .300 to have offensive value, and lack of power may move him permanently to second base.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
West Tenn (Double-A) 120 435 56 122 34 7 5 52 51 72 6 .280 .364 .425

9. David Kelton, 3b/of      Age: 23
Second consecutive disappointing season for Kelton, who seems to have finally found a defensive home as a corner outfielder. Hit just .236 in the final 50 games of the season, and feasts on left-handed pitching (.654 slugging) while struggling vs. righties (.379 slugging).
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Iowa (Triple-A) 121 442 62 119 24 3 16 67 46 115 8 .269 .338 .436
Cubs (MLB) 9 11 1 2 1 0 0 1 0 4 0 .182 .182 .273

10. Todd Wellemeyer, rhp      Age: 25
Pitched very well for the first two months of the season, and earned the save in his major league debut, striking out the side in the 17th inning to preserve a 4-2 Cubs victory over Milwaukee in one of the more memorable games of the season. Spent two months as the Cubs 11th pitcher, but struggled after returning to Iowa, going 4-4, 5.77 in 10 starts.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
West Tenn (Double-A) 1-1 0 5.48 4 21.1 19 13 13 10 34
Iowa (Triple-A) 5-5 0 5.18 13 66.0 68 39 38 33 56
Cubs (MLB) 1-1 1 6.75 14 26.2 24 22 20 19 28


Top Draft Pick:

Ryan Harvey, of    Dunedin (Fla.) HS   Bonus: $2.4M
All but a lock to go to Kansas City with the fifth overall pick, a late change of thinking by the Royals in the final hours before the draft dropped Harvey one notch to the Cubs. Expected to sit out of rookie ball to rehab his injured knee, Harvey played the final month for the AZL Cubs, where he struggled to make contact before finding his power stroke during the season's final week.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
AZL Cubs (Arizona) 14 51 9 12 3 2 1 7 6 21 0 .235 .339 .431


Emerging Prospects:

Chadd Blasko, rhp: A supplemental first-round pick in last year's draft, the 6-6 RHP tossed six shutout innings in his professional debut and led the organization with a 1.95 ERA, including a 4-0. 0.82 record in his final six starts.
Bobby Brownlie, rhp: The Cubs first-round pick in 2002 finally came to terms on March, and reported to Daytona in late April where he allowed just two hits over five innings in his pro debut. Allowed just 48 hits in 66 innings, but was shut down in July as a precautionary measure after complaining of shoulder pain


Statistical Leaders

Batting Average Trenidad Hubbard .319
Home Runs Phil Hiatt 25
Runs Batted In Phil Hiatt 89
Stolen Bases Dwaine Bacon 74
Earned Run Average Chadd Blasko 1.95
Wins Anderson Tavarez 12
Strikeouts Mike Nannini 158
Saves Jason Wylie 29

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